Article Title:On Stage: Hushabye Mountain
Author or Credit:Matt Akersten
Published on:14th May 2007 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:1714
Text:“Danny's dead and hanging around outside heaven. He's not going anywhere until they let him go. And letting go is hard to do…” The inescapable realities of death, grief and loss are filtered through a lens of laughter and light on Hushabye Mountain. The Auckland season of UK gay playwright Jonathan Harvey's bittersweet comedy opens on the 16th of May with a charity performance to benefit the NZ AIDS Foundation and promises a magical roller coaster of high theatrics unfolding somewhere between heaven and earth, past and present, fantasy and reality. Shifting between scenes of heaven and earth, past and present, reality and fantasy, Hushabye Mountain tells the story of Danny - recently deceased from an AIDS-related illness - and how his friends and family deal with the loss. Judy Garland, Mary Poppins, Cher and the Virgin Mary also make appearances along the way. Playwright Harvey is perhaps best-known for the gay teenage romance, ‘Beautiful Thing”, and the outrageous BBC sitcom “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme'. The Auckland season of Hushabye Mountain is being staged by 'In the Shape of a Square' Theatre Company, and stars Gareth Reeves of TV's 'Insiders Guide To Love'. Artistic Director John Humphries says the playwright's wickedly sharp, and occasionally perverse, sense of humour teamed with his keen observation of honest characters in honest situations make this a play where the motivation for you to laugh if often so you don't cry. “Upon first reading, Hushabye Mountain hardly seems a comedy – a play dealing with HIV/AIDS, death, grief and loss. That it actually manages to be funny at all is essentially what makes it special. “Whilst I'm sure Harvey had no intention of trying to break taboos with Hushabye Mountain, the play definitely presents death and all that leads up to and follows it in a new light. A pink one... Where but in a gay play would your death be a big technicolour song and dance number with Judy Garland waiting for you in a boat in Heaven…” The NZAF's Fundraiser   
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